Monitoring technology to help maintain seniors' independence

November 18, 2011 By Jenna Bradwell, University of Wollongong
ACES Research Fellow Dr Steve Beirne with the monitor.

Seniors will be able to continue living an independent lifestyle in the comfort of their own home thanks to new in-home monitoring technology being trialled on selected Illawarra residents.

The technology, launched recently at UOW’s Innovation Campus, is the creation of a collaborative team comprised of the UOW-based Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) and Dublin City University.

The in-home monitoring system will provide vital information on the day to day wellbeing of seniors who choose to remain in their own homes by recording data based on energy consumption in the household.

The daily routine of each household will be mapped; with the monitor sending out an alert should an irregularity appear.

ACES Executive Director Professor Gordon Wallace said the technology would help fulfil seniors’ desire for ‘active ageing’ and an independent lifestyle within their own homes.

“By working together and combining what is available across the globe, we can realise this in a very effective and timely manner,” he said.

“Installation and testing will begin in about two weeks and by the end of next year we hope to be developing wearable technology to assist seniors undergoing rehabilitation and study their movements. Everyone’s looking forward to getting stuck into it!”

IRT’s Luke Oborn said the technology would help take greater control of their independence and reflected the role technology will play in the future of aged-care.

“Collaboration with the University of Wollongong is very important to the future of aged-care. In-home is just one of the many projects IRT is collaborating on with UOW and I look forward to seeing this relationship being further consolidated in the future,” he said.

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